How to Stop Your Dog from Barking When You're Not Home
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Dogs can bark for many reasons, but when they do so when home alone it is because they are suffering from separation anxiety. When a dog is very dependent on their owner, they feel very alone when their owners leave the house and try to call them back by endlessly barking until they return.
It's important that you train your dog properly from the moment you take them into your home, so that they can be left alone without any problems. But you'll often need to turn to tricks when the training is on-going to stop the annoying barking.
Keep reading this AnimalWised article on how to stop your dog from barking when you're not at home, and learn to turn your pet into a stable and happy companion.
Prevent dog separation anxiety - training
From the first moment in which you take the dog into your house, you need to start training them so that they learn to be alone without causing problems. You can leave them alone for short periods, such as five minutes at a time, and the dog will begin to understand that there isn't anything to worry about because you always come back. When they start getting used to it, you can begin leaving them alone for longer periods.
It's also important that you take them for long walks so that they can release all of their energy, and not bark out of boredom or stress - especially on those days when you're going to leave them alone for longer than usual. If you hear them barking when you leave the house you shouldn't return to give them attention, as they will learn that their calls have an effect.
The things you do each time you're about to leave the house, such as picking up your keys or putting your shoes on, let your dog know that you're about to leave. At this point, they will start to get nervous. A technique that stops your dog associating these actions with your departure is to occasionally do them without leaving the house. Or rather, you can put your shoes on and sit on the sofa, or pick up the keys and then putting them down. Over time, the dog will get used to this and will see it as something normal.
Music and toys
A good way to stop a dog barking when alone is to put the television or radio on for them. Just like how many people put them on to hear some background noise and 'have some company', it also helps dogs. Hearing something other than silence can help to avoid the dog's separation anxiety, because it serves as company and they don't feel as alone.
There are also some toys for avoiding separation anxiety that keep your dog entertained when they're alone, such as the Kong. Using these items will mean they pay less attention to your departure. Furthermore, it is a completely safe intelligence toy.
Make sure you consider the option of getting a second dog, so that your best friend has company and feels calm when you're not not at home.
How to stop dog barking when left alone...
First of all, it's important to keep calm when you hear your dog barking. Whenever your furry friend barks in front of you, you should try to make them see that you don't approve of what they are doing, but in a calm and effective manner.
Dogs understand your body language and are capable of learning short commands. Therefore, when they start to bark you can tell them an emphatic 'no'. It's important that you don't get nervous or shout at them, since this will only make them more tense and they will keep barking.
It is also useful to use positive reinforcement. This involves rewarding them with strokes, praise and treats when they pay attention to you and are calm. By doing this, they will gradually start to learn that you want them to behave in this way.
If you get overwhelmed at some point, and find yourself always wondering how to stop your dog from barking when they are alone, you should go to an ethologist. This professional will help your dog overcome their separation anxiety issues and stop their barking, and you will see your pet turn into a balanced animal. This will help both of you feel completely happy together, yet independent.
Check out our tips to leave your dog home alone safely.
If you want to read similar articles to How to Stop Your Dog from Barking When You're Not Home, we recommend you visit our Behavioral problems category.